Türkiye to drill for gas in Mediterranean early next month: Ministry
The ship will leave from the Taşucu Port in the southern province of Mersin for its mission on Aug. 9, the minister said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to attend a ceremony marking the event.
Erdoğan will announce where exactly the ship will conduct its activities, Dönmez said in an interview with private broadcaster Haber Global, noting that it will operate within Türkiye’s maritime zone.
This is a seventh-generation ship, and foreign experts are providing support, according to the minister.
Türkiye’s fourth drillship, which was originally named Cobalt Explorer, departed from the Okpo Port in South Korea on March 7 and arrived at the Taşucu Port on May 19. Its name was later changed to Abdülhamid Han.
The seventh-generation ship has a tower height of 104 meters and is 238 meters long and 42 meters wide, with a maximum drilling depth of 12,200 meters. It can accommodate up to 200 crew.
Türkiye is using drillships in its hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
Dönmez noted that the natural gas found in the Black Sea is more economical than the gas the country imports.
Natural gas supply security
The gas from the Black Seal will start to be pumped into the national network in the first half of next year, the minister reiterated. “We prioritize the work for the gas found in the Black Sea.”
All measures are being taken to ensure the security of natural gas supplies, Dönmez also said, noting that the Lake Tuz storage facility is completely full, while the Silivri facility is 82 percent full and that this site will become 100 percent full by the end of the year.
“We have 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas. As long as suppliers honor the delivery program, we should not have any problems.”
The minister noted that Türkiye is focusing on local, renewable energy resources. In geothermal energy, Türkey is ranked fourth in the world, and the country has a huge potential for solar energy, Dönmez said.
“But there are some downsides to the renewables as all depends on climate and weather. Last year, we faced drought and paid a heavy price. We needed to resort to foreign supplies and consume more natural gas.”
Dönmez also recalled recently a site in the province of Eskişehir where 694 million tons of rare earth element reserves were discovered. “This reserve is only second to China. It is a significant find,” the minister said.
A pilot facility for the rare earth elements will be launched later this year and a larger facility will be established later, he added.